EDP Sciences
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Volume 431, Number 2, February IV 2005
Page(s) 721 - 727
Section Celestial mechanics and astrometry
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041500

A&A 431, 721-727 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041500

Precession from Hipparcos and FK5 proper motions compared with current values: Reasons for discrepancies

H. G. Walter and R. Hering

Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
    e-mail: [s30;s11]@ix.urz.uni-heidelberg.de

(Received 21 June 2004 / Accepted 13 October 2004)

The comparison of Hipparcos and FK5 proper motions points to an inconsistency with the correction, $\Delta p$, of the luni-solar precession derived from VLBI and LLR observations with unprecedented accuracy. An attempt is made to explain this inconsistency of approximately -1.3 mas/yr by rotational offsets of the Hipparcos and FK5 proper motion systems. In terms of right ascension and declination, these offsets give rise to proper motion offsets in the range of $\pm$1 mas/yr on average which is not exceptional given the FK5 error budget. In the case of Hipparcos it is proven that the proper motions are not affected by rotational offsets larger than those indicated by the errors of the proper motion link to the ICRF. This result is obtained by analysing the Hipparcos proper motions in view of the existence of additional systematic motions other than those caused by galactic rotation and the parallactic motion of stars due to the solar motion with respect to the LSR. It is concluded that the Hipparcos proper motions are nearly free of unmodelled rotations, confirming that the Hipparcos frame is inertial at the accuracy level of the proper motion link to the ICRF. The gap between the estimated precessional corrections is bridged primarily by minor changes in the FK5 proper motions of the order of their errors, and only to a small extent by the elimination of a bias in the Hipparcos proper motions.

Key words: astrometry -- reference systems

© ESO 2005